Battle of the Blogs: Marijuana

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Today, American politics is a disdainful struggle between increasingly polarized partisanship. Since many of us American University students are aspiring public servants, we’ll wield future influence over the solutions to our great nation’s problems. We must look not only to represent our best interests, but to reach across the aisle, build consensus, and ensure that substantive progress results from our political endeavors. To exemplify consensus building, the respective blogs representing AU College Democrats and AU College Republicans are collaborating to tackle controversial issues. This piece represents the Republican opinion on the pressing issue of legalized marijuana; its sister-piece represents the Democrat opinion. Although both pieces display contrasting opinions, the articles collectively forge an impactful and reasonable agreement. The AU College Republicans urge our viewers to also read the supplementary Democrat article, which is linked below this paragraph. Please enjoy.

My Democratic counterpart, Quinn Dunlea’s article: http://www.aucollegedems.org/battle-of-the-blogs-marijuana/

Among the many controversies that surrounded the presidency of Richard Milhous Nixon, one was the declaration that drug addiction was “public enemy number one.” President Nixon followed this declaration with a call for dedication of federal resources to the prevention of drug addiction and the rehabilitation of addicts. This began what has now evolved into what we call “The War on Drugs.”

The Republican Party has long advocated that marijuana (also affectionately referred to as “pot”), should it become widely legalized, would be a detriment to our society. It is widely viewed, within the GOP, that marijuana legalization would integrate pot within the American culture, and that the crime, degeneracy and medical repercussions that are associated with the drug would, no doubt, accompany it. This is largely why the party maintains that marijuana is an integral part of Nixon’s “War on Drugs.”

The medical effects of marijuana have been widely understated by pro-legalization advocates and by the media in general. Many will point to the fact that the effects of marijuana usage are miniscule in the face of the effects of legal substances like alcohol and tobacco. Additionally, the media will largely portray pot users as easy-going groovy people. However, marijuana does have a dark, not-so-groovy side. Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction specialist has said that between alcohol, cocaine and marijuana, it is the marijuana that is by far the most addictive substance of the three. Pinsky also points out that of the 7.3 million people aged 12 or older that had a classified drug dependence, 4.2 million of these were addicted to marijuana. The fear, justifiably so, is that the more readily available marijuana becomes, the larger that addiction problem will become.

With regards to the comparison to alcohol and tobacco, marijuana presents many drawbacks without any of the benefits that the first two substances offer. Tobacco has been a part of the US economy since our founding and provides a wide range of economic benefits for the nation. Alcohol has been prohibited in the past and the Prohibition era did little to nothing to curb alcohol use and abuse and deprived the American government of the benefits that go along with the alcohol industries. Both substances, granted, are awful for the human body for many reasons. However, marijuana, studies show, affects the brain and mind more than tobacco. In fact, a Northwestern University study finds that repeated marijuana usage can lead to schizophrenia and permanent damage to IQ. Not to mention, the effects marijuana could have should a user get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Many pro-legalization advocates will point to the potential decrease in crime that would accompany the legalization of marijuana. However, in Netherlands, more specifically Amsterdam, where marijuana is legalized, this has not been the case. Amsterdam recently had to ban marijuana usage on school grounds, as it became a widespread problem where kids were showing up to school unable to function. Marijuana is illegal, yet widely available in Netherlands, but in Amsterdam, where it is legal, problems continue to arise. Many coffee shops in Amsterdam have had to become private, member-only shops as the use of the shops as distribution sites have led to increased crime in those areas. Marijuana is not, in fact, decreasing crime, or improving the culture in any way, shape, or form, and the Amsterdam example highlights how marijuana can undercut businesses and harm society in ways that alcohol and tobacco cannot.

However, as with many things in the Republican Party these days, there is a growing rift on stances regarding marijuana legalization. There is an augmenting faction, spearheaded most prominently by Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY), who advocates that the question of marijuana legalization should be left to the states to decide. In fact, Senator Paul, along with Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) introduced a bipartisan bill that would declassify marijuana to a schedule 2 drug, instead of schedule 3, and remove federal medical marijuana bans.

This has led to a larger discussion on the Constitution. Those who fall into Rand Paul’s line of thinking will point to the 10th Amendment which states that any power not given to the federal government in the Constitution is given to the state governments, and given that marijuana is not addressed in the Constitution, it is unconstitutional for the federal government to ban marijuana.

The other side of the argument will point to the Constitution’s granting of the right to regulate interstate commerce to the federal government as an indication that the federal government does, in fact, have jurisdiction over marijuana, as it is likely marijuana will be bought and sold across state lines, ultimately affecting the economy. Also, given that marijuana is banned federally, it is argued that federal law takes precedence over state laws regardless. These points were addressed in the Supreme Court case, Raich v. Gonzales, where the court ruled with the federal government’s right to regulate marijuana.

However, given the current tensions that surround marijuana and the overarching concern about the overreach of the federal government, there is a legitimate case for a compromise on the issue. To appease those who call for legalization or decriminalization, it would largely make sense to decriminalize marijuana federally (not legalize). From there, a solution where the federal government cedes jurisdiction and enforcement of marijuana laws to the states makes sense. In this scenario, the federal government, to ease the fears of those who say marijuana could destroy the culture, would impose a mandatory minimum fine or community service requirement that is steep enough to act as a sufficient deterrent. The federal government would then leave all additional sanctions to the separate states. Lastly, the federal government would allow for marijuana use medicinally, given that a state allows medical marijuana, and that at least two different medical doctors confirm patients who could benefit from the drug medicinally. Overall, progress regarding some aspects of marijuana may be in the best interests both parties.

Battle of the Blogs: A Bipartisan Approach to Higher Education Policy

36-education_world_booksFor years, the Republican Party has defended the individual responsibility of parents and state governments to promote educational opportunity for all Americans. According to the Republican Party Platform, which was last altered in 2012, “education is much more than schooling. It is the whole range of activities by which families and communities transmit to a younger generation, not just knowledge and skills, but ethical and behavioral norms and traditions.” In February, President Obama introduced a plan that would give free community college to any student who completes high school and maintains a 2.5 grade point average. However, this plan is simply unaffordable and will not be successful in the short or long term. Furthermore, a bipartisan policy initiative is needed to promote higher educational opportunities.

While 89% of Democrats side with President Obama’s free community college proposal (Huffington Post), only 39% of Republicans favor the program. There is no one size fits all solution to education, as it has become one of the most prominent issues amongst millennials. In order to increase access and affordability, a policy suitable to both parties would be a step in the right direction.

After collaboration with my colleague Mr. Guntham on the other side of the aisle, the following policy shall be proposed before Congress: The government would fund two years of community college and guarantee three years of employment in the field of their respective associate’s degree for three years. After working for three years in the field for which the degree is held, individuals are afforded the opportunity to continue working or move on to earn a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university (where unless scholarship is awarded, funding is on their own). If the student does not graduate in two years or fails to work in a field similar to the degree for three years, then any admittance to a public institution will be revoked and the individual would have to repay the costs of their community college tuition.  Conservatives should embrace this policy because it preaches individual and fiscal responsibility while investing in the future.

Let’s talk about the basics of this proposal. A student wants to go to community college to become a soldier and begins by taking general education courses. Once this is done, the student works in the field and then advances to a four-year university where skills previously learned can be used towards earning a Bachelor’s degree. This soldier is now able to go into the Army as an Officer instead of a Private thanks to higher education. Although some question whether or not this would create a higher-skilled workforce, the soldier would earn an extra $2,850 per month now due to education. This plan has the potential to create a higher skilled workforce and drive American ingenuity.

This plan is a home-run for two key reasons: it leaves power to the states for those who opt in and it invests more in the American workforce. Instead of sending jobs to China, now is the time to invest in a highly skilled American workforce. Education is one major step that can help accomplish this. Now is the time for educational reform to help the U.S. regain its global competitiveness.

Read what my colleague Nick Guntham wrote below:

http://www.aucollegedems.org/battle-of-the-blogs-cost-of-higher-education/

Battle of the Blogs: Climate Change

Today, American politics is a disdainful struggle between increasingly polarized partisanship. Since many of us American University students are aspiring public servants, we’ll wield future influence over the solutions to our great nation’s problems. We must look not only to represent our best interests, but to reach across the aisle, build consensus, and ensure that substantive progress results from our political endeavors. To exemplify consensus building, the respective blogs representing AU College Democrats and AU College Republicans are collaborating to tackle controversial issues. This piece represents the Republican opinion on the alarming issue of climate change; its sister-piece represents the Democrat opinion. Although both pieces display contrasting opinions, the articles collectively forge an impactful and reasonable agreement. The AU College Republicans urge our viewers to also read the supplementary Democrat article, which is linked below this paragraph. Please enjoy.

AU Dem’s article: http://www.aucollegedems.org/battle-of-the-blogs-climate-change/

Our planet faces the potentially devastating threat of climate change. As planetary temperature increases, sea levels rise, and ecosystems adapt to rapid reformations, our two American political parties, the Democrats and Republicans, engage in an impassioned and polarized ideological battle. Typically, Democrats embody the sentiment that human activity causes climate change, which must be solved through strict environmental regulations. Republicans, on the other hand, acknowledge the existence of climate change, but believe it derives mostly from natural temperature cycles and minimally from human activity. Before delving into the climate change conundrum itself, I anticipate some readers will argue that Republicans dismiss all notions and scientific evidence of climate change. This is simply not true. At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, the United States Senate voted on two amendments that defined climate change. The first proposition, which acknowledged the existence of climate change, passed almost unanimously with a 98-1 vote; only Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) dissented. The second vote, proposing and amendment to the first, identified the human race as the main climate change perpetrator. It failed to reach the sixty necessary votes at a 50-49 standoff. So yes, Republicans do believe in climate change, but they don’t attribute it to humanity.

Basically, Republicans oppose environmental regulations because regulations cripple businesses in a structurally stagnated economy. Environmental regulations, such as steep nonrenewable energy taxes, abruptly hinder business production methods. With the United States stuck in economic doldrums, imposing both restrictions and costly adaptions on businesses worsens our situation. Businesses struggle adhering to gargantuan fixed costs, such as the purchase of renewable energy sources, replacement of coal and diesel powered machinery for natural gas technology, and pollution containment, which effectively exterminate success in a competitive market. Would Republicans support implementation of some of the aforementioned improvements in the future? Absolutely. In fact, renewable energy potentially lowers long-term production costs. Former United States Rebpublican Congressman, Senator, and Virginia Governor George Allen spoke of the importance in renewable energy investment during his College Republicans speech at American University. Allen claimed that renewable energy, specifically hydroelectric power, nanotechnology, and solar energy and will reduce production costs and transform our relationship with the environment. Nanotechnology is an especially profound prospect, provoking Senator Allen and Democrat Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to establish the National Nanotechnology Program. Senator Allen explains the vast benefits of nanotechnology research:

As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation, and Space, I held the first congressional hearings on nanotechnology. The committee quickly recognized that the fields of nanoscience, nanoengineering, and nanotechnology have the real potential to transform almost every aspect of our lives and commerce. Whether it is related to electronic devices, biotechnology, the health sciences, agriculture, energy, transportation, or national defense, nanotechnology will form the foundation for revolutionary discoveries and advancements in the decades to come, and will soon occupy a major portion of our economy.

Essentially, Republicans do invest in renewable energy sources. But currently, the short-term fixed costs of implementing renewable energy is too imposing for small businesses, therefore eliminating the long-term benefits of cheaper production and improved public health. For now, Republicans believe that returning to economic prosperity outweighs protecting the environment.

Realistically, there may be a middle ground between economic prosperity and environmental conservation. Texas Governor Rick Perry implemented the Texas Emissions Reductions Plan (TERP), which instead of establishing mandatory provisions, provides incentives to businesses that willingly reduce their carbon footprint. One of TERP’s provisions provides grants allocated towards businesses willing to replace heavy-duty diesel burning vehicles with alternative energy sources. Under Governor Perry’s leadership, TERP’s results are impressive. During Perry’s term, Texas’ population gained 5.6 million people, along with 1.3 million new jobs. Concurrently, Texas nitrogen oxide levels decreased by 62.5 percent, ozone levels by 23 percent, sulfur dioxide by 50 percent, and carbon dioxide by 9 percent. Perry attributed both natural gas and wind-power to his environmental success. Programs modeled after TERP should be ignition to bipartisanship regarding climate change. State governments will provide benefits to businesses that successfully reduce environmental damage. Since environmentally conscious businesses receive government subsidies and utilize renewable energy, they’ll enjoy long-term reduction in production costs and government-provided excess assets. As a result, the green businesses will prosper, successfully reducing climate change.

An immediate counterargument from environmentally conscious Democrats and liberals alike is that we don’t have time for incentive based policy. Environmentalists cite statistics depicting current climate change rates as the most rapidly accelerating in Earth’s history. Therefore, the environmental buffer effect, where the planet slowly adapts to changing climates, diminishes to a paltry nature. Earth’s former resilience won’t be exhibited in the presence of extreme temperature acceleration. Proponents of this information deem that strict regulations are the only solution to climate change. Who cares about the economy if we’re physically dying? My immediate reaction to these claims is that climatologists are recurrently wrong in their predictions. In the 1970s, scientists touted an alarming rate of “global cooling,” which didn’t happen. Of course, technology is vastly improved since the 70s, but the same fallacy happened again when climate change activist Al Gore claimed that the North Pole will be completely liquidated by 2014. Here we are in 2015, and the North Pole is still frozen. Climatology is a mercurial science; there are endless sources of error and blatantly wrong extrapolations in expert predictions.

Regardless of the current political climate, there is room for substantive bipartisan environmental policy. Currently, imposing environmental regulations are too dangerous for the fragile United States economy. Instead, programs modeled similarly to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s TERP will protect our environment while promoting market competition. Democrats and Republicans certainly can agree that environmental incentives for businesses willing to reduce their pollution footprints are necessary for both a sustainable planet and public health. Instead of bickering over the cause of climate change, we should embrace environmental incentives, and revel in their ensuing progress. As American University students and aspiring public servants, let’s champion the cause.

Battle of the Blogs

This upcoming week, the AU College Democrats and AU College Republicans will host “Battle of the Blogs.”

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, both the AU Dems’ blog and the Conservative Conscience will produce articles regarding three hotly debated topics. Each blog will define its respective party’s stance, and ultimately end with a concurring suggestion for bipartisan reform. Please tune in!

A Conservative Replacement: Fixing the Affordable Care Act

obamacare-cartoon-hellerOne of the most hotly debated issues in the American political landscape today centers around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, colloquially referred to as both the ACA and Obamacare. The ACA, passed by the 111th Congress and signed into law by President Obama in late-March 2010, is the most gargantuan overhauls of the American health-care system since President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law in 1965. The arguments for and against Obamacare are very much divided along party and ideological lines, with liberals generally supporting the ACA and conservatives feverishly opposing it. The overtly partisan divide that generally accompanies Obamacare created great waves of disagreement in Congress, with the most recent government shutdown engendered by an attempt by House Republicans to defund the act to undermine several of its crucial provisions. With the advent of the first Republican Senate in eight years, the ACA looks like it will be run through the mill once more.

Financial implications are inherent within any sweeping legislation like universal health care. There are two major funding models that are used to varying degrees around the world to pay for universal health care. The ACA is based on a model called compulsory insurance. Compulsory insurance is the equivalent of a government mandate to buy health insurance. This is enforced by legislation in which people can incur fines and penalties for not purchasing health insurance. In Obamacare, people who failed to purchase insurance by May 1st of this year had to pay a tax penalty. One of the only circumstances that this penalty can be avoided is if the income of the applicant is so low that they are not required by law to file for taxes.     Another model of funding for universal health care is called single payer. Single payer health insurance is a system in which the government settles all costs from health insurance, as opposed to health insurance being paid for directly by the insurers. The government gets the money from a fund that US citizens pay into through taxes. The taxes paid in a single payer health care system effectively replace the premiums that were paid for by private insurers. Proponents of a single payer health care system argue that this is a cheaper alternative to privatized health care in that insurers are free from paying for the overhead costs of health insurance companies, therefore paying less through a tax than they would through an insurance premium.

The ACA has come under fierce opposition from many people, mostly conservatives, who typically value personal responsibility over government intervention. A major result of Obamacare is the introduction of new taxes. In order to compensate for the tens of millions of people who have recently been insured, new taxes on high-earners have been introduced. The Affordable Care Act has also increased patient demand. With an increase in the amount of insured Americans, the usage of health benefits has also increased. With the increased usage of health benefits, a shortage of health care professionals, longer waiting lines, and crowded emergency rooms are inevitable. Another effect of Obamacare is that it is an overly complex law that is rife with red tape, regulations, and confusion. A recent poll by the Kaiser Foundation shows that 47% of people view the law unfavorable, while 35% view it in a favorable light. It can be argued that the initial confusion over the ACA has waned, but a majority of people still view the law unfavorably. Some view it as a complicated and unnecessary addition to an already complicated and inefficient health care system, and resent the fact that the government has mandated that they purchase health insurance. Also, insurance premiums have increased as a result of more people having insurance. This puts considerable stress on small business owners who provide health care for their employees, but fail to qualify for the aforementioned tax credits and government subsidies.

There is a solution to the health care issue that plagues this country. It is imperative that we look after the most vulnerable in our society first, and people that lack any kind of health insurance are definitely the most susceptible to massive debts that they simply cannot afford to accrue. The first step is obviously to repeal some key portions of the Affordable Care Act that put undue stress on the lower class, such as the individual mandate. The second step would be to implement a catastrophic health care coverage for every eligible citizen. Doctor visits don’t kill the family budget; unforeseen and gigantic medical problems are bankrupting the lower class and the uninsured. If a medical problem in the family becomes too costly or expensive, government should be there to incur a substantial portion of the costs, or all of the costs after a deductible. Finally, allowing people to buy insurance across state lines would drive down costs as well, making insurance more affordable for all. These simple changes would drastically improve the Affordable Care Act. It is imperative that we make these changes before it is too late.

Donkeys in Elephants’ Clothing

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Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid’s (D-NV), impending retirement brings much excitement for Republicans in Congress. One of the biggest obstacles to the Republican agenda will soon be removed. While this may, for the short term, be a victory for the GOP, the celebration should be tempered, as there are two larger, more obstructive figureheads that stand in the way of the Republican policy agenda, and they come from within.

The 2014 midterm elections that gave Republicans control of the Senate and made Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Senate Majority Leader, Reid’s previous post, are very similar to the 2010 elections that brought John Boehner (R-OH) into his role as Speaker of the House. Both elections were massive rejections of President Barack Obama’s policies and a call to Republican congressional leaders to defend the Constitution and stop Obama’s Executive overreach. However, McConnell and Boehner have not only fallen short in their pursuit of these objectives, they have often stood in the way of these pursuits.

If one were to take a step back and view only the recent major policy measures in Congress, it would be very difficult to tell that the Democrats are not, in fact, still in charge of the legislative branch. It began with the recent omnibus-spending bill that passed Congress in December. Boehner, along with the support of Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as fifty-seven House Democrats passed this bill that permits the Obama administration to fund Obamacare, along with the executive amnesty that will grant legal status to about five million illegal immigrants. It continued again with Boehner’s efforts to shepherd through the DHS funding bill in March that again granted the administration funding for its agenda.

What is particularly upsetting about Boehner’s most recent cave to the Democrats with the DHS funding is how it originated. The House, at first, rejected this bill after it passed McConnell’s Senate. However, Boehner would go out of his way and take advantage of a rarely used House procedural rule to reverse the House’s previous decision that denied funding to the Department of Homeland Security and Obama’s amnesty. Boehner joined with seventy-four other Republicans along with unanimous Democrat support to allow the funding bill to pass.

Actions such as these have come to define Boehner’s relationship with conservatives in Congress. Boehner’s unwillingness to fight tooth and nail against Obama’s policy agenda coupled with his willingness to join forces with every Democrat in Congress led to a legitimate challenge to his role as Speaker earlier this year. He narrowly gained the majority he needed despite the opposition of twenty-five Republicans, the largest amount of opposition within a party’s Speaker vote in over one hundred years.

The number of congressmen who oppose the Speaker’s approach may, in fact, be larger than the twenty-five that voted against him. Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a noted critic of the Speaker, as well as the head of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress and one of the twenty-five who stood up to Boehner attributes the low number to intimidation. He said, “If you are found to be voting against the speaker, you don’t get the chairmanship you thought you were going to get, you don’t get to move up, your bill doesn’t get heard on the floor.”

Boehner’s recent actions seem to show quite clearly that Congressman Huelskamp is correct in his assessment of the Speaker. Representative Daniel Webster (R-FL), along with Rich Nugent (R-FL), were removed from the highly influential House Rules Committee after voting against Boehner. Additionally, Randy Weber (R-TX) had his name removed as a co-sponsor of legislation recently after casting his vote against Boehner. Also, Boehner canceled Representative Steve King’s (R-IA) trip to Egypt to meet with Egyptian President al-Sisi. An anonymous source close to the Speaker was quoted as saying, “Those rewards aren’t going to be handed out to members who oppose the broader GOP team on a regular basis.”

In other words: If you oppose the Speaker, you will get marginalized.

For readers wondering where McConnell plays into all of this, the Senate has punted time and again on the same legislation that would put a stop to Barack Obama’s policies. To be fair, Senator McConnell has only been in the majority for a couple of months and has not had as much time as Boehner to build as impressive a resume when it comes to opposing conservative policy initiatives.

However, McConnell certainly does his best to undermine strong-minded conservatives when he can. McConnell constantly badmouths lawmakers who are willing to take drastic measures to defeat the Obama agenda, namely, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). McConnell, at a recent dinner in Washington, talked about how Ted Cruz would throw himself in front of a train to stop Obamacare in its tracks, then adding, “That idea has some merit to it.”

Boehner and McConnell established that their tenure in the Republican leadership is not dedicated to stopping Obama’s executive overreach. In fact, Boehner and McConnell’s leadership is the epitome of career politicians everywhere: seizing power, neglecting their campaign promises, and using it to maintain power through mushy modesty.

This strategy did not work out well for former House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor (R-VA), whose constituents historically jettisoned him out of office in a primary election, instead choosing Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA), one of the twenty-five opponents to Boehner in the Speaker election.

The time has come for the Republican Party to relegate people like Boehner and McConnell, who use their position to not only refuse to fulfill their promise to stifle the Obama agenda, but also to smother any bold politician with the will to actually do so, to roles like the one Cantor now plays. It is time to elevate promise-keepers like Congressman Brat, Congressman Huelskamp, and Senator Cruz into positions of power if the Republican Party is truly serious about defending the constitution and eliminating President Obama’s executive obtrusiveness.

An Ode to Influential Conservative Women

Conservative women

The Republican Party stereotype is that it is comprised of old white men. Conservative women often go unnoticed for their achievements simply due to their political affiliation. However, Republican women historically have been trailblazers in American politics and courts. Here are a few of the most influential Republican bellwethers for female roles in United States politics.

  1. Jeannette Rankin

The first woman to serve in the United States Congress was Republican Jeannette Rankin. She pioneered the opportunity for 313 more women to serve in congress. Along with representing Montana, Rankin also worked in social services, and served as a professional lobbyist for the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Rankin famously stated, “I may be the first woman member of congress, but I won’t be the last;” she was damn right.

  1. Clare Booth Luce

Clare Booth Luce represented Connecticut between the years 1943-1947 in the House of Representatives. Historically, Luce was the first American woman appointed to ambassadorial work abroad; she served as the ambassador to Italy and Brazil. President Ronald Reagan awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her political and diplomatic work at home and abroad. Luce was the first congresswoman to achieve this award.

  1. Sandra Day O’Connor

Sandra Day O’Conner is the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice. She graduated from Stanford Law School, and her Supreme Court tenure lasted 25 years. Before her time in the Supreme Court, she served in the Arizona State Senate. Not only was she the first female Supreme Court Justice, but O’Connor was also the first woman to serve as the Arizona Senate Majority Leader. Similar to Clare Booth Luce, O’Connor received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

  1. Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American to serve in this position. During her time as Secretary of State, Rice traveled more than any former Secretary of State. Additionally, Rice was the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor. Rice currently teaches political science at Stanford University; she also founded the advisory firm RiceHadleyGates LLC., and is a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee.

  1. Susana Martinez

Susana Martinez, former attorney, is the first female governor of New Mexico and the first Hispanic female governor in the United States. In an increasingly liberal state, Martinez continues to stand up for her conservative values. Before serving as governor of New Mexico, Martinez served three terms as district attorney for New Mexico’s 3rd Judicial District in Dona Ana County. In 2010 she won “Prosecutor of the Year” award by the State Bar of New Mexico. A few years later in 2013, Time magazine added her to the Time 100, or their top 100 most influential people in the world list. Touting her strong conservative values, Martinez stated that she carried a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum as a security guard when she was 18 years old.

  1. The 114th Congress

On January 6, 2015 the 114th congress proved that strong Republican women are willing to run for office; they championed some landmark campaigns. Just a few of our conservative champions include Elise Stefanik (NY), Mia Love (UT), and Joni Ernst (IA). Elise Stefanik, 30 years old, made history as the youngest woman ever elected to U.S. Congress. Additionally, Congresswoman Mia Love is the first African American elected to Congress from Utah. Another history-maker, Joni Ernst, is the first female veteran to serve in the Senate. Other victors include Martha McSally, Mimi Walters, Barbara Comstock, and Shelley Moore Capito.

As a conservative Hispanic young woman, I’m disheartened by the anti-woman stereotypes of the Republican Party. By claiming that the party consists of old white men, liberals discredit the decades of work achieved by Republican women. Unfortunately, women are historically treated unfairly. As time passes, I’m fully confident women will continue to grasp pivotal roles in society. Thankfully, these aforementioned Republican women helped to spark the cause.